Tax Murderers

They are killing businesses left right and centre these tax happy politicos and it is about time somebody screamed blue murder. Some HRM restaurant owners are feeling the pain but they aren’t the only businesses under attack .

“We’re getting bombarded with tax increases and fee increases and it’s coming at a very difficult time,” said restaurateur Chris Tzaneteas of the proposed hike in the business rate that translates into an increase of 13.7 cents per $100 of assessment.

“So far this year we’ve got the minimum wage going up, the HST going up and even liquor prices just went up. There just does not seem to be any end to it.” [CH-May 23]

And what is their response? This chestnut [emph ours]; it made us laugh out loud.

On Saturday, Bruce Fisher, a finance department staffer with Halifax Regional Municipality, said there’s no doubt that area “restaurants, or any business, pay substantially more tax than a homeowner does.”

But he said restaurants got the benefit, about three years ago, of the elimination of the longstanding business occupancy tax.

Ha, ha, ha.  The BoT coming off was tax relief? You have to be kidding. The municipality just upped the commercial rate to off set the loss of BoT revenue here in Wolfville. Do you mean to tell us they didn’t do this in HRM too? [If they didn’t, businesses here in Wolfville should be asking for a refund.]

Moreover, here in Taxville Wolfville since  only some kinds of businesses were removed from the BoT regime every year during the phase out, some businesses had to continue to pay it AND that part of the increase in the commercial rate meant to replace it. This double taxation won’t end until the BoT is completely phased out.

We presumed it was the intent of the province to spare small business by removing the BoT [we bet you dimes to doughnuts it was touted this way at the time] but residents here in Wolfville have been told over and over again that the BoT coming off was not to spare business and that it was always the intention of the town to replace it by upping the commercial rate to compensate.

The city in the CH report blathers on about lower assessments which is baloney because assessments have nothing to do with the insatiable appetite of the Municipal Maw.We agree with Luc Erjavec, the Atlantic vice-president of the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association who said:

“get back to the drawing board” and eliminate any increase in spending included in the budget.

There is the problem – the BUDGET. It’s time someone took an ax to that instead  of  shedding the life blood of our small businesses.

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